James F. Stern, Executive VP, General Counsel, and Secretary


Jim Stern

Jim Stern joined A. O. Smith Corporation as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary on June 1, 2007.  He is responsible for overseeing the corporation’s legal, governance, compliance, securities law, and government relations functions. Jim also spends a significant portion of his time on corporate development and the company’s global water treatment business, in which he chairs the Global Water Treatment steering committee.

Jim joined the company after 15 years with Foley & Lardner LLP of Milwaukee where he was a partner, providing legal services and advice for a wide range of public and private companies.  Prior to joining Foley & Lardner, Jim was an associate with Latham & Watkins LLP of Chicago, Ill. and he also served as a law clerk under Pasco M. Bowman, II, senior judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in Kansas City, Mo.

Jim currently serves on the Board of Directors of Badger Meter, Inc., a Milwaukee-based metering and flow technologies company, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Milwaukee Water Council.  He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Jason Industries, Inc., a global manufacturer with four segments: seating, finishing, components, and automotive acoustics, and the Polar Ware Company, a privately-held manufacturer of restaurant wares and beverage dispensing machines from 2007 until its sale in 2012.  He also currently serves on a number of charitable boards, including the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Fleck Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Jim graduated from the University of Notre Dame (BA), Northwestern University School of Law (JD), and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.